Worldwide observers appreciate Nepal for conducting fair and peaceful Parliamentary, Provincial elections

Nepal Votes Thursday. China And India Are Watching Closely

Nepal Votes Thursday. China And India Are Watching Closely

Nepal's troubled south votes on Thursday in historic elections many hope will bring much-needed stability to the desperately poor country, but which have been marred by violence and fears of ethnic tension.

Thousands of police and soldiers were deployed in the capital Kathmandu and the volatile southern lowlands for the vote after pre-election violence that left one dead and dozens injured.

Of them, 600 are associated with the CPN-Maoist party, a breakaway Maoist faction, they said.

The vote will elect the country's first provincial assemblies, devolving power away from a top-heavy central government that has cycled through 10 leaders in the last 11 years.

Elaborate security arrangements have been put in place to conduct elections in a free, fair and peaceful manner, the Election Commission said.

Nepal's Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba also cast his vote from Dadeldhura district and returned to Kathmandu via Helicopter.

Those who have names on the voter roll but have not been able to collect their voter IDs can cast their ballots by showing the IDs issued for local elections and Constituent Assembly polls or citizenship certificate, passport, driving licence, land ownership certificate or any other valid identity card with photo issued by government agencies, according to the Election Commission.

Polling will begin at 7 AM and continue till 5 PM.

The contest in Nepal is between the CPN-UML, CPN-Maoist Centre and Nepali Congress.

The elections are being seen as the final step in Nepal's transition to a federal democracy following a decade-long civil war till 2006 that claimed more than 16,000 lives.

"The Nepal Police has deputed booth security squads, mobile teams and security personnel in plain clothes for the objective of election security", he added. The EC has also urged parties and candidates to extend help in safely transporting ballot boxes to the Office of chief election officers and election officers at the district headquarters.

The first phase of the election was held on November 26, with final results not expected for about another 10 days because of the cumbersome vote-counting procedure, officials said.